The faith of Patricia…

Patricia has 3 daughters. They are 18, 11 and 4 years old. Patricia is a real Iraqw. A tribe from the Arusha/Manyara region. Patricia is Roman Catholic, her kids are ‘nusu nusu’ (halfblooded), because she is married to a Maasai.

Patricia lives in Mbulu which is on the border of both regions (Arusha and Manyara). She traveled for 2 hours to reach us.

Daughter Amina  (adorable little girl) has a cleft palate on which Rotaplast will operate. “With the help of God it will all end up well”, says Patricia.


A good education, a lovely husband, a beautiful family in a wonderful house; Patricia wants best for her daughters (like all mothers do). And for herself? She would like to own a store. A beautiful dream.

With more questioning, my interpreter (René Vreuls – head pediatrician who speaks Swahili) tells me that they are very poor and that she gets no (or very little) money. Actually her husband is giving her too little money. He is a taxi driver that drinks too much. So the biggest part goes straight to the liquor.

Patricia laughs a lot and has a ‘happy face’, but it gives us goosebumps. A sweet woman that wants the best out of life and also tells us her dream and those of her kids probably won’t be reality.

After all I know is that we are helping her live a piece of the dream that everything should be more perfect. Her sweet darling Amina is helped, can swallow and will be more intelligible. She will be able to follow her dream.

-Ruben Veldman, The Netherlands